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Child Support Agreements

If you remain amicable with your ex-partner, you may wish to enter into a private child support agreement, rather than go through an administrative assessment with Services Australia. If you decide to settle child support arrangements privately, Honan Family Law can advise on your individual and unique circumstances to ensure you aren’t left financially burdened during this otherwise stressful period.

What are my options when it comes to private agreements?

There are two types of Child Support Agreements being:

  • a Binding Child Support Agreement (BCSA); and
  • a Limited Child Support Agreement (LCSA)

Binding Child Support Agreements

Parents entering into a BCSA must obtain independent legal advice and the BCSA must contain a certificate in which the parents’ legal advisors specifically certify that they have provided certain advice to the parents.

Under a BCSA, the support amount agreed by the parents can be for more or less than the administrative assessment for child support. An administrative assessment does not need to be in place before the parents enter into a BCSA.

A BCSA may contemplate the payment of a lump sum in lieu of a periodic child support payment; however there are disadvantages to approaching child support in this manner.

To terminate a BCSA prior to the end date, the parents must seek independent legal advice and enter into a formal Termination Agreement or a new BCSA that terminates the previous BCSA.

If only one parent seeks to terminate an agreement, then they may seek an order from the relevant court. This will only be granted in very limited circumstances such as where there has been fraud, failure to disclose, or undue influence, amongst other things. The court will not terminate such an agreement upon the mere whim of a party.

Limited Child Support Agreements

An LCSA does not require independent legal advice before the LCSA is signed. However, an LCSA requires there to be an administrative assessment already in place and the LCSA must be for at least the amount of the existing administrative assessment.

If parents do choose to enter into an LCSA, they can increase the likely longevity of an LCSA by addressing possible changes in circumstances within the LCSA.  In the event an administrative assessment changes by more than 15 percent, either parent may terminate an LCSA.

If both parents wish to end an LCSA, they can do so by making a new LCSA, or simply agreeing in writing to end the existing LCSA.

Either parent may unilaterally terminate an LCSA if it is three or more years old.

Legal support to help you navigate your child support rights

Navigating child support can take an emotional toll, especially if you are in the middle of a separation or divorce. Although you may be amicable and agreeable with your ex-partner, complications can arise when determining private child support agreements. Honan Family Law can help alleviate the stress of this changing time, so you can move on with your life quickly and smoothly.

Need support navigating your next move?

Book an initial consultation with us. We’ll help you understand where you stand, so you can move forward with grace and confidence.

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